Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Stewartville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Stewartville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Stewartville AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Stewartville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Stewartville AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Stewartville AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Stewartville home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Stewartville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.